Yesterday, Cleartrip CEO Stuart Crighton and Director Amit Taneja participated (read arrested) in the investigation conducted by ACP Surender Singh, Gurgaon Police. The arrest was made based on a complaint made by Travelocity in December 2009, which accused Cleartrip of stealing data, and in doing so, caused large losses for the company. Though the duo were arrested, they were released immediately as they had already got anticipatory bail.
In 2007, Travelguru acquired Desiya.com for $25 million, and the MD for Desiya was Amit Taneja. Then in 2009, Travelocity bought Travelguru and subsequently sacked Mr. Taneja. In their complaint, Travelocity has accused Amint Taneja, along with Sanjeet Singh and Imran Ansari both of whom were earlier employed with Desiya, to have leaked data to Cleartrip.
Cleartrip’s COO, P.K.X. Thomas believes that this problem started when Travelocity realized that Mr. Taneja was to join Cleartrip after he was sacked. Upon realizing this, they tried their level best to get back the services of Taneja but to no avail. According to Mr. Thomas, this is a clear cut case of professional rivalry and the case has no truth to it whatsoever.
So whose side should we believe? Well according to investigations in 2009, police revealed that initially Travelguru had assigned Amit Taneja and Sanjeet Singh were assigned to meet customers which comprised of hotel representatives of numerous hotels and book rooms for their customers. However, once the duo left the company and joined Cleartrip, they continued to meet these clients. Also, the police believe that these former employees of Travelguru downloaded a list of customers and future assignments from their work computers to their laptops before they left the company.
If this is the case, then the CEO and Director are bound to be arrested again. But we all know how some cases like these can be extended for a very long time. On their part, Cleartrip on their blog have defended their officials. What is your take on this?